Computing Software Engineering

Software Engineering } 007 } Agile versus Spiral }

This lecture discusses key ideas of agile framework and its differences with traditional waterfall and spiral software development methodologies.

Waterfall model is a very early model of software development. As software systems became complex, it needed new techniques to manage software development process. In waterfall model cost dynamically increase if we try to implement design changes in very last phase of design cycle and often impossible to accommodate design changes in later phases of development. Hence concept of iterative software engineering models came in picture. Which also suffered with larges complex software developments e.g. operating systems software. Later on spiral model concept came in picture which is a combination of waterfall and iterative methodologies and which significantly improved the quality and project cost. In fact spiral is so far the best technique out there. There are many other models people proposed in that line but they turned out to be versions of spiral methodology.

In recent years as the software systems, IT infrastructure need grows rapidly more and more service companies poped-up like mushrooms making quick bucks providing fast food to organization which have almost no knowledge of IT systems. These organizations needed a framework where they can accommodate changes from customer in quicker way without focusing on quality, and hence so agile framework came in picture. But do not go by the fancy name of agile framework. The focus of such framework is to make customer happy by accommodating customer demands quickly during the design. This can lead to greater danger of maintenance and sustainability of system deployed. But think about the business on service companies, they charge more money for maintenance of the these software which they deployed under agile framework quickly and made quick bucks. As time goes on they make more money in maintenance from customer. Its like billing customer through the life-cycle of the software and costing more to customer in long run. Does it make sense?

Agile methodologies do not in fact focus on quality and there is almost no planning required. But think about is it good proper way of doing things? I say not. It needs to be in such way that “Design once and it keeps working through out life without touching it.” which is very similar to the mindset of German engineering – the best in the world!

Software developed and deployed under agile framework are analogues to giving fast food to customer which is not healthy. customer will get sick and will have to spend money on medication and doctors. Quality suffers!!

Software developed under spiral framework are best so far which are like giving healthy food with delicacy. It is made once and works forever. Spiral is the best choice!

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